StandWithUs Letter to Columbia University re: Malaysian Prime Minister
Stand With Us
Fri Sep 27 2019
Dear President Bollinger,
We write on behalf of StandWithUs (SWU), an international, non-profit education organization supporting Israel and combating antisemitism, and Alums for Campus Fairness (ACF), a non-profit organization that brings together alumni to combat antisemitism on campus. We are aware that Columbia University invited the openly antisemitic Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Bin Mohamad, to speak on Wednesday afternoon, September 25, 2019, at the University’s World Leaders Forum and that, as he has done repeatedly in the past, he once again espoused many of his blatantly antisemitic views.
During the event, Prime Minister Mohamad displayed and attempted to normalize virulent antisemitism: "Why is it that I can’t say something against the Jews? You have to be willing to listen to views which are uncomfortable because of free speech. When you say no, you cannot say this, you cannot be anti-Semitic, then there is no more free speech.” Not only did Prime Minister Mohamad frame his antisemitism as acceptable since it’s allowed under free speech laws, but he then attempted to legitimize Holocaust denial, claiming, “You must remember that one English man was banned for three months for disputing the numbers of the Holocaust. While I have not disputed them, I can say I don’t know who came up with these numbers. If this is somebody who is in favor, you get one figure, somebody who is against, you get another figure.”...